As a benefits-eligible member of Tufts’ faculty or staff, you can enroll in a flexible spending account (FSA) benefit. FSA’s allow you to set aside pre-tax money to pay for health care or dependent care costs. You may want to consider an FSA if you have high health care, childcare, or elder care costs and would benefit by paying these expenses using pre-tax dollars.
Health Care FSA
The health care FSA lets you pay for eligible health care expenses for you and your eligible tax dependents using pre-tax dollars. During calendar year 2017, you may contribute up to $2,600.
- Once you enroll, you will receive a letter from our FSA vendor, EBPA, that explains how to set up an online account and use the Benefits Debit Card. If you need extra cards for family members, please call EBPA at (888) 678-3457.
- Under IRS guidelines, you may carry over up to $500 in your health care FSA to the following plan year. You will lose any unused amounts in excess of $500. The amount carried over will not count against the IRS limit for the following year. The unused amounts that are carried over into the next plan year must be used to pay for eligible health care expenses. They may not be cashed out or applied toward any other benefit.
Dependent Care FSA
This type of FSA lets you pay for eligible dependent care expenses, such as daycare or elder care. For calendar year 2017, you may contribute up to $5,000 for individuals or married couples filing jointly, or $2,500 for a married person filing separately.
- After you pay for eligible expenses, you can use your Benefits Debit Card or submit your claims online to be reimbursed.
- If you set aside money for dependent care services (child daycare), you will need to verify that your children are under age 13.
- Once you enroll, you will receive a letter from our FSA vendor, EBPA, that explains how to set up an online account and use the Benefits Debit Card. You will receive one debit card that will be updated each year when you re-enroll. If you need extra cards for family members, please call EBPA at (888) 678-3457
- There is no carry-over provision in the dependent care FSA account. If you do not use the funds for 2017 dependent care expenses, you forfeit those funds.
Important Notes to Remember
- Each year, you must re-enroll in the health care and dependent care FSAs during the open enrollment period (typically in October or November).
- Health care FSA: The FSA is a “use it or lose it benefit” with the exception of the $500 rollover amount for health care expenses only. This means it is important to be careful when choosing annual contribution amounts so you do not have more than $500 in funds left over at the end of the calendar year.
- Dependent care FSA: The IRS "use it or lose it" rule applies. Please carefully choose your dependent care annual amount since if you do not use the funds, you will forfeit them.
- The IRS allows you extra time after the calendar year ends (until April 30) to send in requests for eligible expenses that you have incurred for during the prior calendar year but not yet submitted.
How to Enroll
You may enroll in an FSA when you are first eligible for benefits through eServe during the annual benefits open enrollment period, or within 31 days of a change of status, such as the birth or adoption of a child. You can choose to enroll in a Health Care FSA, Dependent Care FSA, or both.
You may also call Tufts Support Services at 617-627-7000 for assistance.
For More Information
To get quick access to an array of account information on your smart phone, download the EBPA mobile app.